Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

OUR MAN IN CHARLESTON by Christopher Dickey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A great book explaining the workings of what Dickey calls an erratic, cobbled-together coalition of ferociously independent states. It should be in the library of any student of diplomacy, as well as Civil War buffs."
In this biography of Robert Bunch, the British consul in Charleston, South Carolina, at the beginning of the Civil War, Daily Beast foreign editor Dickey (Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force—The NYPD, 2010, etc.) illustrates how an outside observer can understand more about a situation than the parties involved.Read full book review >
ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD by Tim Weiner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"That project continues, of course, in different hands all these years after Nixon's coverup of a coverup. No one who reads this incisive book will be nostalgic for Nixon, no matter how disastrous his successors."
Sobering, eye-opening study of Richard Nixon's booze-soaked, paranoid White House years and the endless tragedies they wrought. Read full book review >

THE REBEL OF RANGOON by Delphine Schrank
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A remarkable chronicle of a multigenerational struggle in Burma bringing about important change."
A dogged journalist penetrates the deeply secretive dissident underground in Burma's police state in this compelling look into a traumatized society in flux. Read full book review >
GENGHIS KHAN by Frank McLynn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"Thoroughly researched, grim, grisly, and sometimes even grudgingly admiring."
A prolific historian, biographer, and journalist returns with a sanguinary and thorough account of "the greatest conqueror the world has ever known." Read full book review >
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >

MEANWHILE THERE ARE LETTERS by Suzanne Marrs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 7, 2015

"An intimate, luminous portrait of a friendship."
Tender letters reveal interwoven literary lives. Read full book review >
THE TANK MAN'S SON by Mark Bouman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2015

"Never preachy or self-pitying, just an honest story well written and well told."
A touching memoir of a truly miserable childhood. Read full book review >
I, MIGRANT by Sami Shah
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2015

"Humor at its most vigorous and unsparing."
A Pakistani-born comic's account of how he sought salvation in stand-up comedy and then found a new home in Australia. Read full book review >
PUTINISM by Walter Laqueur
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"An erudite and unsettling but convincing argument that the new Russia is a dictatorship 'approved by the majority as long as the going is good,' and if Putin were to vanish today, his successor would make few changes."
Relief at the end of the Cold War lasted barely a decade before observers began wondering if it was returning, this time under a pugnacious, quasi-Stalin: Vladimir Putin. Read full book review >
THE OREGON TRAIL by Rinker Buck
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"By turns frankly hilarious, historically elucidating, emotionally touching, and deeply informative."
A crazy whim of a trip on a covered wagon turns into an inspired exploration of American identity. Read full book review >
TERRORISTS AT THE TABLE by Jonathan Powell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"Powell's urgent, reasoned, and impassioned argument for negotiation has the potential to contribute significantly to public debate."
A road map for the fraught, fragile road to possible peace with terrorist organizations. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"Klein changed the way rock does business. In this balanced, fascinating, and well-written biography, Goodman gives him credit where it's due."
The story of a manager more often vilified than any other in the history of rock. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >